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Apple releases iTunes 11 (macrumors.com)
62 points by nimeshneema on Nov 29, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 72 comments

I would like Apple to release a damn API to the iDevices so that some other motherfucker can innovate on this clusterfuck of an old codebase

There's already a Music API on iOS. You can rewrite the entire Music app if you wish, as some have done [1].

1) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/track-8/id519363162?mt=8

Please don't use URL shorteners here on HN. They break many of the underpinnings of the www and hypermedia, and deprive users of important context (will it take me to goatse or malware? will I be rickrolled?).

Particularly given that HN has built into it both community convention (use the [1], [2], [n] as footnote placeholders for a link, and, the site itself, is pretty good about abbreviating the "In-Situ" display to reduce visual link clutter (Mouse over gives you the full link for review)

He is talking about an API for accessing iDevices on the mac.

Yeah, I was more talking about an API TO the iDevices, not ON the iDevices. A content management API.

The new version is a ground up rewrite..

I find that difficult to credit - I don't have any insider info., but that's not how Apple goes, for the most part. Also, if they were doing a total rewrite (as they did with FCP or iMovie) I would expect the outcome to be much more different from iTunes 10 than 11 is.

I find that difficult to credit - I don't have any insider info., but that's not how Apple goes, for the most part.

From my first experience, it does seem to be whole lot faster than iTunes < 11. I also like interface more.

No question good work was done. But I imagine a complete rewrite would involve say non-modal preference dialogs just to pick a long-running irritation out of a hat.

Seconded. The preferences dialog appears to be completely unchanged from iTunes 10.

What's especially irritating about this is that modal preferences dialogs with 'Ok'/'Cancel' buttons have been discouraged since, as far as I'm aware, the 10.0 HIG.

> What's especially irritating about this is that modal preferences dialogs with 'Ok'/'Cancel' buttons have been discouraged since, as far as I'm aware, the 10.0 HIG.

When has Apple followed their own HIG?

Not so sure about the speed, I can't even scroll through albums smoothly in the default view.

I doubt it's a clean break. Exhibit A: Just as in iTunes 10, entering manual music selection for an iPod Shuffle craps out the same 3 giant scrolling subviews in an L shape: http://i.imgur.com/CsXud.png

I do like the new dynamic background and highlight colours when selecting albums and tracks in the Album view.

It blocks the UI thread when generating thumbnails in the "video" tab... lots of small modal progress windows... really still feels like an OS 9 app at times.

It does seem like they removed the ability to open multiple windows though, which I always activated by mistake instead of on purpose.

At least the preferences dialog is the exact same modal crap it always was (What are they thinking?) and the metadata dialog is also unchanged since forever.

Looks like a coat of paint, nothing more. They are always so tantalizingly close to radically rethink everything. But they don’t seem to dare, and that’s sad.

It's not. It has an improved database engine and a new UI. That's pretty much it.

New version seems faster in some respects, but at least ridiculously slow in another: searching with the Column Browser open.

I have a huge library--~63000 songs; I'm a musician--and although iTunes 10.7 search was quite reasonable, the new iTunes takes several seconds to do anything after typing a query. Even if I turn off "Search Entire Library" (so that it only searches the active screen, like Music) it is incredibly unresponsive. I'm talking ~6 seconds for the UI to update and the program to become responsive again. If I limit the search to only one field (e.g., Composer) it is faster, but still substantially slower than iTunes 10.7 (~2 seconds for the UI to update, compared to the previous results of nearly instant), and it makes the search much less useful.

Closing the Column Browser speeds up filtering, though it's still slower than 10.7.

Perhaps iTunes 11 needs to index your library over again before the speed improves?

Possibly... though Activity Monitor (or top) doesn't show anything suspicious. If I stop audio from playing, iTunes drops to about 4% CPU. (And mdworker doesn't appear to be working overtime either.) With the Column Browser open, searching in iTunes causes a leap to 100% CPU until the UI updates. Column Browser closed, searching causes a momentary leap, but not to 100%, and obviously it's over very quickly.

There's clearly something up with the coding of the Column Browser.

I doubt it, it seems to be using the same plist format(essentially, a glorified xml file) as previous versions.

the plist is only for external app, internally it uses a sqlite.

It works well for me on Windows but there are no significant performance improvements. Design is no doubt better.

I still wonder why Apple doesn't use their $100 billion to get some A-grade software engineers. Steve Jobs used to boast about A-level players and all that. But current mess that iTunes is can't be from A-level players.

And don't even get me started on Safari for Windows. Apple just seems to have dropped ball completely on it!

I wonder who you think works on clang/llvm (or CoreAudio, or xnu, or Quicktime)? People who can't get jobs writing Rails models for consumer web startups?

> I wonder who you think works on clang/llvm (or CoreAudio, or xnu, or Quicktime)?

People smart enough not to get anywhere near iTunes?

(really, would you trade clang or kernel dev for that?)


In fairness, though, the iTunes client team is a lot smaller than most people probably realize. Problems with the software are almost certainly the fault of management trying to do more with less, and not the competence (in my experience, extremely high) of the individual devs.

The point was that a lot of Apple customers and iTunes is only Apple software they use(Windows). If it is so bad, it does not make a good impression. A company can't go around saying that they put best devs and people on work with this bad software around!

Granted, iTunes 11 is an improvement but it's still not very different from iTunes 10!

Apple did drop the ball on it... they said they are no longer going to do any development work on it. It's just as well, if you want a good browser on Windows you should be using Chrome or Firefox anyway.

I have been using Chrome for long. I went to Safari because it had a better fullscreen mode. Chrome has this strange mode where not even omnibar is shown. How in the world am I supposed to go to a different site there?

Talk is cheap man. Show us a piece of working code on par with let's say the iOS APIs, and then you can pull that one off again.

That's a good idea! I will work on that. I'm in college and making something like this may get me arrested or an internship in Apple! ;)

It seems finally the green maximize button no longer toggles the mini player mode and actually does what it's supposed to do.

I really like the new mini player. Its finally useful, as it finally includes all main music listening tasks including search.

I have to take that back. The mini player considers "space" the same as "enter" and just hits whatever has focus at the moment. Also, it tends to select "back" if you refocus.

Looks a lot like iTunes 10. And … the bug I opened in 2008 is still there! Sweet. Sort your library by Album/Year, and then reverse direction (year descending.) Reverses album order. E_WONTFIX.

Not at all actually.




There's no sidebar for quick access to things, you have to click album art to select a song, etc. It's a very large UI departure. You can return it to more normal though by viewing by "song" and then selecting View > Show Sidebar.

It hasn't added any useful metadata features. It doesn't appear to cache the downsampled synced versions of music. The default view is different, but it's trivial to get back to the well understood two/three pane layout. There's more iCloud stuff. The "Up Next" feature is pretty nice.

You can show the sidebar again from the view menu.

A lot of visual as well as functional features has been added (see http://www.apple.com/itunes/whats-new/). And the iTunes store has been redesigned as well.

I had some trouble finding where the sort options went, so for anyone else who's struggling to find them:

Go to View => View Options… (or hit Command-J).

I just downloaded this. I really like the new design, especially the new album view feature.

The most interesting update to me is iTunes Match: http://www.apple.com/itunes/itunes-match/

Hmm. As far as I can tell, not much about iTunes Match has been updated. It's been available since iOS 5 (and whatever the corresponding iTunes update was -- 10.x?)

Oh, for some reason I'd never heard of it until this update. My mistake.

Did they make changes to iTunes Match at all? This is actually my favorite Apple service nobody knows about.

My bad, I thought it was new.

What's up with the awful bold fonts everywhere in the interface?

Haven't downloaded yet, but apparently they use Helvetica Neue Light for some interface elements now. Perhaps you don't have that installed and it's defaulting to Bold?

I've been using iTunes DJ a lot lately, but it doesn't appear to exist anymore. Am I missing something?

It's there, it's now called Up Next.

I noticed the same. I think that's replace with the "Up Next" feature - basically letting you queue songs to an ad-hoc playlist as you go.

Yeah, I couldn't find it either. I'm still setting up Genius, so it may have been rolled into that.

I'm still waiting for iTunes to have a normal queue that only plays the songs in it.

How would this differ from a playlist and/or Up Next?

I've been waiting for "Up Next" Since I migrated from Winamp - Being able to play a song, and then realize "I know what would go PERFECTLY after this", is very useful.

Or listening to music, selecting a much of tracks, and throwing them in the queue, without the hassle of creating a playlist ahead of time.

Very pleased!

I upgraded iTunes right after I wrote the post - Up Next is exactly what I was hoping for.

That reminds me just how awful iTunes is. About a year ago, I switched to RDio/Spotify and I have not looked back. I do not have any local mp3s any more. Just some flacs for audio testing purposes.

It has been months since I last used iTunes.

I use iTunes to play my collection of lossless audio (downloaded as FLAC, converted to ALAC in m4a containers). I also like to DJ occasionally, or send albums to friends. Spotify allows for none of that, and has no lossless playback options.

I'm not down on Spotify - I am a customer, as well. But don't pose it as the solution to actually possessing a music library. If all you do is listen to your music on earbuds, it's just fine. The moment you want to do more with it, you're stuck.

It is a solution for me.

I look forward to checking this out though I find that with Spotify/Pandora, iCloud iOS backups, and the Podcast app on my iOS devices, I open up iTunes less and less these days. It's not even on my dock anymore.

That logo just keeps getting more and more atrocious. Goodness.

Icon you mean.

I am pretty happy with Enqueue as a replacement for iTunes, it plays flac's too.

http://www.enqueueapp.com/ (No affiliation)

Does it do anything more sensible with pdf's and epub's?


I wish they would release us from iTunes or at least let me use the damned thing with my work and home computer.

The new UI is quite nice, although its striking similarity to Sonora's design leaves me with quite a bitter aftertaste. Unfortunately there seem to be no substantial improvements over metadata and format handling; it looks like I will keep missing foobar2k for a long time still.

Here's the old icon for anyone that want's it.


I still can't authorize more than 5 computers. Yes, 5 computers is a lot, but if you home/work computers for a couple with a shared account/library and a family room iMac, that's it.

Can someone convince me there is a non-stupid reason for having to close Xcode to make the upgrade?

Gotta be honest: although the new UI is very much functional, it looks like absolute shit.

Form follows function, in my mind.

Yah, just surprised they couldn't achieve both, as they often have. Won't stop me form using it.. Just not sure this change was worth the effort.

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